Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a surge in internet usage as millions have switched to working from homes. This put an immense strain on networks, particularly across Europe. Nokia has had an increase in orders, as clients increasingly look to upgrade networks to meet user demand, according to Reuters.
Sandy Motley, President of Fixed Networks at Nokia, said that several clients had hoped to expand their networks by 30% to 40% over the next several years amid growth in data usage, but the pandemic caused an overnight growth in traffic. She stated:
“Customers will need to accelerate the growth that they had planned in the future, and we’ve seen customers already talking to us about that.”
During Q1 2020, orders for fixed networks have increased by 22%, Motley said. To consolidate its fixed-line networks, the Finnish manufacturer bought Alcatel-Lucent in 2016, in a deal worth almost $17 billion. Its value sunk by 18% year-on-year in the first quarter and 5% between 2018 and 2019 but Motley has attributed the decline to business cycles.
The European Commission wants all networks in Europe to offer download speeds of at least 100Mbps by 2025. However, Stefaan Vanhastel, CTO of Nokia's fixed networks business, said that installing fiber cables to improve networks would take considerable time. He said:
“Certainly we see that operators are starting to consider accelerating fiber rollouts.”
As per a report by Analysys Mason, a research firm, fixed broadband accounts for roughly 90% of all internet traffic in Europe.